Instructional Strategies and Course Design for Teaching Statistics Online: Perspectives from Online Students
International Journal of STEM Education Volume 4, Number 1,
Background: Teaching online is a different experience from that of teaching in a face-to-face setting. Knowledge and skills developed for teaching face-to-face classes are not adequate preparation for teaching online. It is even more challenging to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses completely online because these courses usually require more hands-on activities and live demonstrations. Although the demand for online STEM courses has never been higher, little has been done to develop effective instructional and online course design strategies for teaching STEM courses online. This paper reports the effectiveness of the instructional strategies adopted and the online course design features in a fully online statistics course from the students' perspectives. The online statistics course was an introductory, quantitative research course that covered common statistical concepts and focused on the application of educational research concepts for graduate students in educational technology. In terms of the statistics concepts covered, the course was similar to an introductory statistics class for students majoring in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM). The participants were mostly K-20 (meaning from kindergarten to college) instructors who had knowledge of instructional strategies. Results: Data collected from participants' reflections and course evaluations revealed that a range of instructional strategies and course design features were effective and helped students learn statistics in an online environment. Specifically, case studies, video demonstrations, instructor's notes, mini projects, and an online discussion forum were most effective. For online course design features, consistent structure, various resources and learning activities, and the application focused course content were found to be effective. Conclusions: The implications of this study include effective instructional strategies and online course design for application-oriented STEM courses such as physics and engineering. The study results can be used to guide online teaching and learning as well as online course design for instructors, course designers, and students in STEM fields.
Yang, D. (2017). Instructional Strategies and Course Design for Teaching Statistics Online: Perspectives from Online Students. International Journal of STEM Education, 4(1),.